11 Oct The Meaning of Life
“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” (Nelson Henderson)
The evergreen question
There has been one question that has troubled humanity ever since people have started wondering about their existence on Earth. What is the meaning of life? From simple folks to wise older men, from clerics to philosophers, from youngsters to elders, everyone has at least once in their being asked that question – to others or themselves.
Have you ever thought about the meaning of life? Regardless of the theories which you believe, your religion (or the lack of it), you must have had, at least once in your life, a moment when you questioned the existence of all beings, of life itself, on Earth. But then again, considering all theories, religions, scientific discoveries, and anything else you wish to take into account, there is no real answer to that question.
So maybe the question is wrong. Perhaps the question should be:
What is the meaning of my life?
If you put it like that, you might find an answer because the meaning of our life is what every one of us chooses to give it.
“Why are we here?”
“What is life all about?”
“What is the purpose of existence?”
All these are but variations of the same question. It is in our human nature to raise such issues and to strive to find the answers. The search for the meaning of life has produced massive philosophical, scientific, theological, and metaphysical speculation during the history of humankind. Different people and different cultures provide different answers, as we believe in different things. There are many factors to be considered, such as social status, happiness, morality, ontology, values, ethics, free will, religious concepts, the belief in the soul and the afterlife, the universe and all that we know now about it!
Searching the past
For centuries, philosophers (and lately even psychologists) have struggled to come up with solid theories and documented answers to the big question. But somehow the friendlier pop-culture of the 20th century has managed to reach the masses with a different approach (especially since the masses were no longer interested in dusty, heavy books to read). Let’s take a look at a few examples:
The answer is in you
So ask yourself what is important to you, in the first place? Is it money? Is it family? Is it social achievements or a career? Do you wish to see the world and discover the meaning of life through adventure and travel? Do you want to leave something memorable behind so that you won’t be forgotten after your time on this world has run out?
What do you want the meaning of your life to be?
Remember: even the smallest and simplest things that you do in life can have an impact on your legacy! For instance, small gestures such as sending a letter to your grandchildren to the future or something that will help them preserve a kind memory of you.
Happiness is something you choose, not something that is given to you. Life is what you make of it, not something that is handed to you. Why should the meaning of life be anything else than what you wish it to be? You are the only answer to the question! So enjoy each moment, treasure each day, love and be loved and make sure you will pass on the love to those who will be your heritage on this Earth.
*The example series was put together with the kind help of Wikipedia.